The forecast was set fair and the tides were timed just right for us to pack a picnic and the pooches and head down to the famous Camber Sands, in East Sussex, for the day. The last time I had visited the area was on a school trip...err...um...many, many years ago! I had fond memories of a vast sandy beach, lots of sheep on Romney Marshes and of accidentally stepping on a crab, which, in hindsight, wasn't such a great experience!
We usually head down to the beautiful beach at West Wittering with Reina and Taffy, but we really fancied a change and Camber Sands beach seemed perfect - no pebbles, a vast wide sandy beach and shallow sea. So we packed the dogs away into the back of the car together with our usual assortment of beach day trip paraphernalia:
Camber Sands is located just to the East of the Medieval town of Rye. Which is so pretty and historic that it is worth a visit all of its own. The beach itself is vast and home, apparently, to the only sand dune system in East Sussex. In fact, from the car park you need to clamber over what seems to be a mountain of a sand dune, with all your gear, picnic and dogs pulling like a train, in order to access the beach. The sand is soft and deep, making your progress quite slow. But you are justly rewarded for your efforts by the view of the beach and the shallow water, just inviting you over for a paddle.
Dogs are allowed on the beach at Camber Sands all year round. However, between 1 May and 30 September, dogs are not allowed within the zoned area located on this map of Camber Sands. You don't need to worry about whether you're in the dog allowed zone or not as the beach is very clearly signposted. You can't really go wrong!
We like to take the dogs to the beach at any time of year, providing the weather isn't too foul. Obviously if you go during the Summer months and Bank Holidays it's bound to be busier. But for us, the key consideration is to be at the beach for low tide and preferably as the sea is receding, rather than coming in. So we always plan our visit around the tides and check this on the Magic Seaweed website before deciding whether to go.
There are several car parks servicing Camber Sands beach. We parked in the Western car park which is the first one you come to when you drive in to the area. It's a pay and display car park with around 1,800 spaces here which plenty, but there are no shaded areas to keep your car cool for your return from the beach. There is also a public toilet block. Follow this link to find more details on car parks in the area.
Our dogs loved playing on the vast expanse of beach and it felt quite safe for them there. As the tide went out we walked with them to the water's edge, which seemed to take forever, and paddled with them in the sea. It's a pure sandy beach with no rockpools or interesting things for them to go sniffing in, so be sure to bring toys or balls for them to play with.
We couldn't find any water taps on the beach itself, so carried a container full of water over the sand dunes with us for the dogs.
There is quite a breeze on the beach and the fine sand got everywhere - in our picnic, in the water bowl, in our hair, in the dog's hair. We would invest in a windbreak if we returned to Camber Sands beach.
Here are a few memories of our visit to Camber Sands with Reina and Taffy. We hope you pay the beach a visit and enjoy it as much as we did.
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Everyone must have heard of Box Hill! Popular for school field trips, nature lovers, National Trust members and more recently cycling enthusiasts, as it was the venue for the more arduous stretch of the cycling road race in the 2012 London Olympics.
But for us it's one of our favourite places to bring the dogs for a good hearty walk, to pump some blood round your veins and give your lungs a good workout. Once you've climbed to the very top, you will feel like you're on top of the world!